NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20010071572: Holographic Optical Data Storage
Publication date 2000-01-02
Topics NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), HOLOGRAPHIC OPTICAL ELEMENTS, DATA STORAGE, OPTICAL DATA PROCESSING, MEMORY (COMPUTERS), BRAGG ANGLE, DISPLAY DEVICES, DYNAMIC STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS, HOLOGRAPHIC INTERFEROMETRY, IMAGE RESOLUTION, IMAGING TECHNIQUES, INVENTIONS, LASER OUTPUTS, OPTOELECTRONIC DEVICES, OPTICAL INTERCONNECTS, WHITE LIGHT HOLOGRAPHY, X RAY DIFFRACTION, Timucin, Dogan A., Downie, John D.,
Although the basic idea may be traced back to the earlier X-ray diffraction studies of Sir W. L. Bragg, the holographic method as we know it was invented by D. Gabor in 1948 as a two-step lensless imaging technique to enhance the resolution of electron microscopy, for which he received the 1971 Nobel Prize in physics. The distinctive feature of holography is the recording of the object phase variations that carry the depth information, which is lost in conventional photography where only the intensity (= squared amplitude) distribution of an object is captured. Since all photosensitive media necessarily respond to the intensity incident upon them, an ingenious way had to be found to convert object phase into intensity variations, and Gabor achieved this by introducing a coherent reference wave along with the object wave during exposure. Gabor's in-line recording scheme, however, required the object in question to be largely transmissive, and could provide only marginal image quality due to unwanted terms simultaneously reconstructed along with the desired wavefront. Further handicapped by the lack of a strong coherent light source, optical holography thus seemed fated to remain just another scientific curiosity, until the field was revolutionized in the early 1960s by some major breakthroughs: the proposition and demonstration of the laser principle, the introduction of off-axis holography, and the invention of volume holography. Consequently, the remainder of that decade saw an exponential growth in research on theory, practice, and applications of holography. Today, holography not only boasts a wide variety of scientific and technical applications (e.g., holographic interferometry for strain, vibration, and flow analysis, microscopy and high-resolution imagery, imaging through distorting media, optical interconnects, holographic optical elements, optical neural networks, three-dimensional displays, data storage, etc.), but has become a prominent am advertising, and security medium as well. The evolution of holographic optical memories has followed a path not altogether different from holography itself, with several cycles of alternating interest over the past four decades. P. J. van Heerden is widely credited for being the first to elucidate the principles behind holographic data storage in a 1963 paper, predicting bit storage densities on the order of 1/lambda(sup 3) with source wavelength lambda - a fantastic capacity of nearly 1 TB/cu cm for visible light! The science and engineering of such a storage paradigm was heavily pursued thereafter, resulting in many novel hologram multiplexing techniques for dense data storage, as well as important advances in holographic recording materials. Ultimately, however, the lack of such enabling technologies as compact laser sources and high performance optical data I/O devices dampened the hopes for the development of a commercial product. After a period of relative dormancy, successful applications of holography in other arenas sparked a renewed interest in holographic data storage in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Currently, with most of the critical optoelectronic device technologies in place and the quest for an ideal holographic recording medium intensified, holography is once again considered as one of several future data storage paradigms that may answer our constantly growing need for higher-capacity and faster-access memories.
Uploaded by chris85 on